Jury selection begins in NJ webcam spying case


NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - The first phase of jury selection began Friday in the trial of a former Rutgers University student accused of using a webcam to spy on his roommate's intimate encounter with another man.

The case sparked a national conversation about the impact of bullying on young gays after the roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, days after the intimate encounter.

Dharun Ravi faces 15 charges, including invasion of privacy and hindering prosecution. The most serious charge is bias intimidation, a hate crime punishable by 10 years in prison. The 19-year-old Ravi isn't charged in connection with Clementi's death.

But the suicide looms so large in the case that the judge told jurors about it.

About 2,000 prospective jurors were summoned, but most had conflicts that would prevent them from serving in a trial expected to last three to four weeks.

More than 200 were brought to the Middlesex County Courthouse on Friday to start filling out questionnaires. A few dozen of them were dismissed because of hardships, including one man who said that ÒemotionallyÓ he didn't belong on the jury. He was excused without being asked to explain further.

Lawyers in the case are scheduled to meet Tuesday to go through the surveys and decide which jurors have conflicts or other reasons that make them ineligible. Those remaining are to be brought back on Wednesday for interviews.

It's not clear when the process will be complete and opening arguments will be held.

  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: Pride Guide
Lake Effect

Hot off Season 7 of the LOGO channel's "Ru Paul's Drag Race" phenomenon, Darienne Lake of Season 6 spoke with Between the Lines about her upcoming hosting gig at Motor City Pride June 6.

View More Pride Guide
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!